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Thu Apr 4, 2024, 04:16 PM Apr 2024

Baltimore bridge collapse could affect rail traffic in western Virginia

Hat tip, the Virginia Mercury

Baltimore bridge collapse could affect rail traffic in western Virginia

By Joe Dashiell
Published: Apr. 2, 2024 at 8:06 PM EDT

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The disruption of operations at the Port of Baltimore, because of a ship crash that caused the Key Bridge to collapse, could have an impact on rail traffic in western Virginia.

Union officials say they anticipate some coal trains that were destined for the Maryland port will be re-routed through Roanoke to the coal piers in Norfolk. And they say the situation could require Norfolk Southern to double the amount of export coal loaded each month at the Lambert’s Point terminal.

Dr. John Saldanha is a Professor of Supply Chain Management at West Virginia University.

“So with coal, Baltimore is the number two port. The number one port is Hampton Roads, the ports of Virginia,” Saldanha said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “So you see a lot of scrambling happening. CSX and Norfolk Southern are the two main carriers for coal in this region, and they will be definitely looking at their customers’ requests to start diverting freight that would traditionally go to the port of Baltimore now to the Virginia ports.”

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